What is a Backlit Keyboard? Light Up Your Typing

Updated: 17/11/2023


A backlit keyboard and mouse in vibrant colors, adding a touch of style to your computing experience.

Imagine a keyboard that dances with light, illuminating your darkest typing sessions and enhancing your gaming experience. Say hello to backlit keyboards!

Welcome to the beautiful world of backlit keyboards!

Are you ready to be amazed by the cool glow of every tap of your keyboard?

Backlit keyboards are popular because they look sleek and do something special. Keyboards have become more than just tools for typing. Now, they enhance the fun of typing and gaming for everyone, from casual users to pros.

This blog post will discuss the concept of LED keyboard backlights, their features and benefits, and how to turn them on/off.

Understanding the Basics: What Exactly is a Backlit Keyboard?

colorful backlit keyboard

Before diving into the exciting keyboard world with backlight, let’s define what they are.

A backlit, illuminated keyboard is a special keyboard with lights underneath and around the keys. These lights provide illumination, making the keys visible in low-light or dark environments. The lights in the keyboard are usually powered by small LED bulbs, known for their energy efficiency and ability to make the keys brighter. Backlit keyboards are popular among computer users who desire enhanced visibility and added style to their setup, thanks to a light source.

LED lights, called full backlit keyboard LEDs, are placed behind each key to give even light. The Bluetooth Keyboard lights can be made brighter or dimmer and set to different colors. This lets you customize the keyboard’s light to how you like it.

How to Turn on a Backlit Keyboard?

If you want to make your keyboard light up so it’s easier to type, you might want to know how to turn on a backlit keyboard. This can differ depending on your type of keyboard, like a TKL keyboard, and who made it. But you can usually do it by pressing a few keys simultaneously, such as the Fn and arrow keys, to adjust the brightness. You might need to press the Fn key, the button that makes things brighter, the Lenovo Pro button, and another key with a picture of a light on it.

Let’s explore the activation methods for backlit keyboards:

1. Automatic Activation: Some laptops have a special feature called ambient light sensors. These sensors can tell when the room is not very bright. When they detect low light, like in a dimly lit room, they turn on the keyboard backlight all by themselves. This helps you to see and type on the keyboard easily, even when it’s dark. You don’t have to change any settings because the sensors do it for you.

2. Manual Activation: Most laptops allow you to control the backlight using one of the following methods manually:

  • Function Keys: Look for dedicated function keys (usually labeled with an icon resembling a light bulb or keyboard) on your laptop. Pressing the appropriate function key (often combined with the “Fn” key) toggles the backlight on or off. Here’s a quick reference guide for some popular laptop brands:
    • HP Laptops: Press Fn + F5 or F9 (depending on your model).
    • Lenovo Laptops: Press Fn + Backlight to turn on your keyboard backlight. Remember, Fn stands for Function.
    • ASUS Laptops: Try Fn + Up to adjust brightness.
    • Dell Laptops: Dell users can try various key combinations: F10, Fn + F10, Fn + F6, Fn + F5, or Fn + Right Arrow keys.
    • MSI Laptops: Use the dedicated button or software.
    • Samsung Laptops: Press the Fn + F9 keys to toggle the keyboard backlight. If that doesn’t work, consider installing the Samsung Settings app on your machine.

How to Turn off a Backlit Keyboard?

Turning off a backlit keyboard depends on your device:

Laptops: Look for dedicated keys (often F-keys) with backlight icons. Press the key or Fn + key combo used to turn it on, usually once more, to turn it off.

External keyboards: Check the manual or manufacturer’s website for specific instructions, often a dedicated button or software control.

Tip: Many laptops have automatic timeout or low-light sensors for backlighting.

Different Types of Backlit Keyboards

Let’s explore the different types of keyboard backlighting options that are available.

1. Single-Color Backlighting Keyboard

Blue backlit aio keyboard with blue keys

Single-color backlighting keyboards light up the keys with just one color that you can pick. This color is typically white, blue, or red, though some keyboards might offer a few color options to choose from. While some LED keyboards offer a limited range of colors, others allow for near-endless customization options. When you choose a color for your laptop, computer, or Chromebook keyboard, you can make it look how you want. You can pick a color that matches your style or gives off a cool vibe. . It’s a minimalist option suitable for users who prefer simplicity or need basic visibility in low-light environments

Bonus Tip

You can use Keyboard Software to have even more control over how bright each key is and its special effects. This lets you make your typing experience even more personalized.

Top Picks for Single-Color Backlit Keyboards

Here are some of the best options to consider, taking into account factors like switch type, connectivity, brightness control, and additional features.

1. Best Overall: Logitech MX Keys

  • Luxurious low-profile mechanical keys for quiet tactile typing.
  • Dual connectivity: Reliable wired or clutter-free Bluetooth.
  • Smart illumination adjusts to lighting and conserves battery.
  • Media controls and Fn key for added functionality

2. Best Budget: Redragon K552 Wired Backlit Keyboard

  • Classic red LED backlight with customizable brightness.
  • Clicky and tactile blue mechanical switches for a satisfying feel.
  • Wired connection for lag-free performance.
  • Multimedia keys and volume control wheel for convenience.

3. Best Wireless: Razer BlackWidow V8 Tenkeyless

  • A compact design ideal for smaller desks or minimalist setups.
  • Razer Green mechanical switches for a clicky and tactile gaming experience.
  • Bluetooth connectivity keeps your desktop clean.
  • Customizable white LED backlight with adjustable brightness.

2. RGB (Multicolor) Backlighting Keyboard

A backlit RGB keyboard and mouse placed side by side, ready for use on a desk.

RGB backlighting keyboards bring a new level of fun and personalization to your gaming setup. They come with many colors and lighting effects, making your keyboard look precisely how you want it to look. You can choose to use just one color, switch between many colors, or even create cool patterns with the lights. This adds a fascinating and interactive element to using your gaming laptop’s keyboard while gaming.

Bonus Tip

Assign specific colors or lighting patterns to frequently used keys or macro keys. This can improve your workflow and add a personal touch to your keyboard setup.

1. Best Overall: Corsair K65 RGB MK

The Corsair K65 RGB MK.2 stands out as an excellent all-purpose keyboard, providing a balance of features, performance, and affordability. It has a durable build quality, customizable RGB backlighting, and a variety of Cherry MX key switches to choose from. Additionally, the K65 RGB MK.2 is well-suited for gamers, featuring anti-ghosting and full key rollover capabilities.

2. Best Budget: RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61

The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is a great option for those who want a compact RGB backlit keyboard. It has a 60% layout, which means it only has 61 keys. This can be a great option for gamers who want more mouse space or those who don’t need all the extra keys that a full-size keyboard has. The RK61 also has customizable RGB backlighting and a variety of Gateron switches from which to choose.

Different Backlighting Options for Keyboards

Backlighting OptionDescriptionProsCons
Static BacklightingThe keys are constantly illuminated at a fixed brightness level using the increase brightness button or designated keys.✅ Simple and easy to use❌ Can be distracting in low-light environments
Reactive BacklightingThe LED keyboard is divided into different zones, each with its backlighting color or effect.✅ Fascinating and engaging typing experience❌ Not as common as static backlighting
Zone-Based BacklightingThe keyboard LED is divided into different zones, each with its own backlighting color or effect.✅ Highly customizable❌ More complex to set up

Benefits of Using a Backlit LED Keyboard

A diverse backlit keyboard collection featuring various colors and sizes, catering to individual preferences and needs.

Wireless backlit keyboards have many advantages, like helping you work better and making gaming fun. Let’s explore some of the good things about them.

1. Enhanced Visibility in Low Light:

Imagine your keyboard lighting up at the back, creating a soft glow. This gentle illumination can give your eyes a break, especially in dim lighting. With the keys all aglow, finding the right ones becomes a breeze, making typing more accurate and speedy.

You can adjust the keyboard’s brightness to find a comfortable eye level. It’s like your keyboard is putting on a little light show just for you!

2. Gaming Advantages:

Gamers all over the world love using backlit keyboards for their gaming setups. These keyboards have cool glowing keys that look awesome and helpful. The colorful lights on the keyboard can help gamers see the keys more easily.

This makes it simpler for gamers to react quickly in games. It also helps them stay focused during exciting and tense moments. Additionally, the lights can create cool effects to make gaming more enjoyable!

3. Aesthetic Appeal and Personalization:

Backlit keyboards add a touch of style and elegance to your setup. You can choose from various lighting effects, colors, and patterns to match your mood or gaming rig. RGB (red, green, blue) backlighting even allows you to customize individual key colors.

4. Accessibility for Visually Impaired Users:

Backlit wireless keyboards can be helpful for people who have trouble seeing. These keyboards have keys that light up, which makes it easier for people with vision problems to find the right keys and type. This is especially useful for people relying more on their sense of touch than sight.

5. Multimedia Controls:

Many backlit keyboards come with dedicated multimedia keys (volume control, play/pause, etc.). These shortcuts make it convenient to adjust audio settings without leaving your current task.

Backlit LED keyboard Features

A white keyboard illuminated by a vibrant rainbow LED light, adding a colorful touch to the sleek design.

Backlit keyboards are excellent because they have unique lights that make typing and playing games more awesome. They are not just ordinary keyboards – they have some neat features that can make your screen time more fun. Let’s find out why they are so great!

  • Illumination Options:

Most backlit keyboards make it easy to adjust the brightness of the illumination. Even cooler is that some models give you various color options, so you can customize the keyboard’s look to match your style. Some keyboards have cool features like lights that pulse or change colors, also known as the backlit feature. You can even sync the lights with gaming gear like mice or headsets.

In addition to the backlighting, many backlit keyboards offer a range of additional features such as macro keys, media control buttons, and game-specific options. The type of features your keyboard can have depends on the model you choose. Some models may even include USB ports or audio jacks for greater convenience. Thanks to the backlit feature, it’s like having your light show on your keyboard!

  • Programmable Lighting Effects:

If you like technology, you might love backlit keyboards. These keyboards can have unique lights that you can control. You can make the lights do fun things, like matching them to your favorite music or making them work with specific software. It’s an excellent way to make your keyboard look and feel just how you want it to!

  • Practicality and Durability:

Backlit keyboards are designed with practicality in mind. Many models offer spill-resistant designs, making them easier to clean.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Backlit Keyboard

Two keyboards and a mouse with different colors, ideal for choosing the right backlit keyboards.

When choosing a backlit wireless keyboard, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Budget Considerations: The price range of backlit keyboards can vary significantly based on their features. Set a budget and explore options in that range to find a keyboard that suits your needs and your wallet.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the waterproof backlit keyboard you choose is compatible with your operating system. Whether you use Windows, macOS, or Linux, plenty of options are available for each plan.
  • Identifying Personal Needs: Consider your specific requirements. Are you a typist, a gamer, a professional, or a casual user? Different keyboards cater to different needs, so look for features that align with your usage patterns.
  • Reading Expert Opinions: Before making a final decision, take the time to read user reviews and seek expert opinions. The experiences of others can provide valuable insights into the reliability and performance of different models.

Installation, Usage, and Maintenance

A backlit keyboard with a phone and a mouse. Ideal for installation, usage, and maintenance purposes.

Installing, using, and maintaining a backlit LED keyboard is straightforward and requires minimal effort:

  • Plug-and-Play vs. Software-Driven Installation:

Setting it up can be easy, depending on your backlit mechanical keyboard type. You might need to connect the keyboard to your PC. This is possible because of “plug-and-play,” which makes it simple to use the keyboard without much hassle. Other keyboards may require software installation to access advanced features and lighting customization.

  • Practical Tips for Usage:

Once your backlit keyboard glowing is up and running, consider optimizing the lighting settings to suit your preferences. Experiment with different brightness levels or colors to find what works best. Furthermore, mechanical keyboard shortcuts associated with lighting control should be explored to adjust the illuminated keyboards conveniently whenever needed.

  • Regular Cleaning and Maintenance:

To keep your backlit wireless keyboards looking and functioning at their best, adopt regular cleaning and maintenance routines. When you clean your keyboard, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help you use the right cleaning methods and avoid using strong chemicals that could harm the keyboard’s surface or keys.


Backlit laptop keyboards are a cool new thing that makes typing on your computer easier and more fun. If you work late at nighttime, love gaming, or want a cool keyboard setup, backlit keyboard LED lights can improve your typing experience and enhance your workspace. They make it easier to see the keys, reduce eye strain, and you can even customize the lighting. It’s a great way to make your fingers feel amazing while you type!

What is the backlit keyboard?

A backlit, illuminated keyboard is a special computer keyboard with lights under and around the keys. These lights, usually small LED lights, make the keys easy to see in places with low or no light. This type of keyboard, backlit, is popular among computer users for its practicality and cool aesthetic.

How do I turn on my backlit keyboard?

Turning on your backlit keyboard depends on its model and operating system. Some standard methods include:

  • Locate a dedicated backlighting key, often marked with a “sun” or “light bulb” symbol.
  • Press a key combination, like “Fn” + “Spacebar.”
  • Access keyboard settings through the control panel or system preferences.
What is the function of the backlit keyboard?

Backlit keyboards provide several valuable functions:

  • Enhanced Visibility: They improve visibility in dimly lit environments, reducing eye strain and enhancing accuracy.
  • Improved Efficiency: Increased visibility contributes to faster typing and improved productivity.
  • Personalization: Backlit keyboards, particularly those with RGB lighting, allow for personalization of colors and lighting patterns.
  • Enhanced Experience: Backlit keyboards offer a sleek aesthetic and enhance the user experience.
Is backlit keyboard good or bad?

Backlit keyboards offer numerous advantages, but they also have potential drawbacks:


  • Improved visibility in low-light environments
  • Reduced eye strain
  • Increased typing accuracy and speed
  • Enhanced aesthetics and personalization


  • Increased power consumption
  • Higher cost compared to non-backlit keyboards
  • Potential for distraction with bright colors
Can I install backlit keyboard?

Installing a backlit keyboard on a desktop computer is possible, with options for both internal and external backlit keyboards. However, installing a backlit keyboard might be challenging for laptops due to the specific model and integrated hardware.

Do all laptops have backlit keyboard?

Not all laptops have backlit keyboards. Check your laptop’s specifications or look for signs of backlighting, like a special key for turning on the backlight.

Can I turn off backlit keyboard?

Yes, you can turn off the backlighting on most keyboards when unnecessary. This is typically done through the same key combinations or settings used for turning it on.

How do I know if my laptop keyboard is backlit?

Look for visual indicators:

  • The backlighting key on the keyboard bearing a “sun” or “light bulb” symbol
  • Translucent lettering on the keys suggests that light can shine through.
  • Check your laptop model specifications for information about backlighting features.
Can we change backlit keyboard light?

Yes, most backlit keyboards allow customization of the backlighting:

  • Adjust brightness levels by pressing the increase/decrease brightness. button
  • Change colors (for RGB keyboards)
  • Set different lighting patterns or effects

Ultimately, choosing a backlit keyboard comes down to individual needs and preferences. These keyboards have many advantages, such as making it easier to see the keys with their illuminated keys, helping with how the keyboard works, and making it look nice. The lights can make typing, working, or playing games on the computer more fun and easier. However, if you prefer a more traditional typing experience, a regular keyboard may be a better option.

Shifa Tariq

Shifa Tariq

Hi, I'm Shifa, the CEO and Co-founder of Best Keyboard Tester, the go-to website for comprehensive keyboard guides, in-depth reviews, and top recommendations. As a huge keyboard enthusiast and tech lover, I created this website to help everyone find the perfect keyboard, whether you're a casual typist or a hardcore gamer. Our unique online keyboard tester tool lets you virtually try different switches and layouts before buying. I'm passionate about helping people discover the joy of an excellent keyboard and always looking for ways to improve our website.

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